LAFAYETTE - Points offset penalties, much to the chagrin of Woodlawn High coach Don Jones Friday night.
Woodlawn scored almost at will against the Lafayette High defense, providing enough cushion to provide the Panthers with a 41-31 victory in a contest played in wet and windy conditions.
The Panthers climbed ahead of LHS 10-0 midway in the first quarter following the recovery of two fumbles deep in Lions’ territory.
Woodlawn then took command 34-10 at the end of the third quarter, before holding off the Lions who scored three touchdowns in the final 11 minutes and 24 seconds.
While Jones claimed victory number 227 in his coaching career, the loss marred the head coaching debut of Lafayette High’s Jay Domengeaux.
“We’ve got to play smart,” Jones said. “I’m really disappointed in all the penalties and the points that we gave up in the fourth quarter.
“On the other hand, I have to be proud of our team. It’s a win, but there are certainly a lot of things to clean up.”
The Panthers got a 224-yard passing performance from quarterback Kendall Barnes, who threw four touchdown passes, including a pair to wide receiver Jamaal Lofton.
In the second half, Barnes also connected with receiver Deandre Cosby on a 50-yarder that put WHS ahead by 24 points.
In the fourth quarter, another big play, a 64-yard run by running back Kenneth Collins enabled the Panthers to create the cushion they needed to hold off the Lions.
Lafayette finished with 213 rushing yards after ending the first half with only 81.
Using a veer attack that Domengeaux installed this season, the Lions used running backs Ray Thompson and Devin Benjamin to hammer away at the Panthers.
Jones said the two fumble recoveries the Panthers turned into quick first quarter TD’s set the tempo early.
“I thought we played well in the first half. We have some weapons offensively,” Jones said.
“On defense we gave up some plays there in the second half. We have a very aggressive defense.”